Ariana Grande covers The Fader’s 2018 Summer Music Issue

On May 29th, Ariana Grande has been revealed as the second of four artists to cover The FADER’s 2018 Summer Music Issue. The print issue hits newsstands in June, but ahead of the release, the magazine has shared the cover photo as well as highlights from Grande’s interview Wednesday morning (May 30). The pop star shared details on her next album, life after the Manchester bombing, and how her fans encourage her to be vulnerable.

Check out the full coverage below!


I don’t really want to start off by talking about Ariana Grande’s ponytail, but I can’t help it. Today, her silver hair has been built up with multiple extensions by her Grecian god of a hairdresser, Chris Appleton; as Ariana shuffles around a cavernous photo studio in slides she designed for Reebok, it bobs behind her like a loyal Pokémon. There’s detailed braiding going on in the front and pounds and pounds tied up in the back, with some pieces dyed a pleasing shade of lilac. When I first spot her across the room — alongside her mom, Joan, who is in full Calabasas momager drag — I release a long “yaaaas” under my breath.

The 24-year-old singer has worn variations of the high and tight hairstyle since 2013 and has rarely appeared in public without it. In 2014, after some people online started to beg for a new style, she explained in a Facebook note that it’s the only look she was comfortable wearing: years of bleaching and dying her hair red, when she was a teen actor on Nickelodeon, damaged it severely.

On the cover art for this spring’s “No Tears Left To Cry,” the lead single from Sweetener, her fourth album, out this August, she left her fans proverbially bald by being photographed with a ponytail that was 45 degrees lower than normal. As one viral tweet put it: “Ariana lowered her ponytail, it’s over for you bitches.”

Since releasing her first single at 19, Ariana has managed to defy the pop star convention of reinventing her look for each musical era. At the end of our interview, I ask if she considered going totally nuclear for this album cycle, like if she ever thought of shaving her head. After the year she’s had, she could certainly play the reinvention card.

She wraps her hair around her hand and gives it a comb and affectionate toss. “The pony has also gone through an evolution, and I’m proud of that,” she says with a heaping tablespoon of self-awareness. “Old pony? I don’t know if she’s that girl. But new pony? I like her. I mean, it’s like a Victoria Secret angel without angel wings. It’s still her without them, but when she’s with them it’s like, Ohh, I get it, she’s an angel.”

During the cover shoot for this story, she’s just like the Ariana I’ve seen in concert and followed on social media: absurdly warm, a theatre kid through and through. When the stereo malfunctions on set, she sings throaty Christmas carols to everyone’s delight. Every day, she sends her best friends good-morning voice notes in a cartoonishly demonic tone. She’s the kind of person who finds out her song is the No. 1 single in 80 countries and the only words she shares with her followers are an emoji-filled “Holy ass titty, thank you so much, what??????”

At the end of our day, her team carefully coordinates her exit. A Range Rover backs all the way into the massive studio and security leads her inside as if they’re escorting a head of state. It seems like this will be the new normal for the rest of her life.

In May of 2017, Ariana performed to a sold-out crowd at a Manchester, U.K. stop on her Dangerous Woman world tour, which was originally planned to take her to six continents over eight months. Shortly after the show was over, a bomber set off an explosion in the arena’s foyer. Her concerts attract a fairly young crowd, so the area was bustling with parents waiting to pick up their kids. The explosion killed 23 people and injured over 500. It was the deadliest terror attack in the U.K. in over a decade.

Ariana and her crew were still backstage when it happened, and no one on her team was hurt. Hours after they’d been cleared out of the arena safely, she tweeted, “broken. from the bottom of my heart, i am so so sorry. i don’t have words.”

Even almost a year later, she still can’t talk that much about it. She hasn’t sat down for an interview in months, and pretty much has cut off all communication from the outside world. At the first mention of the word Manchester during our chat, she begins to tear up and at several points breaks down into sobbing. As she explains to me, “I guess I thought with time, and therapy, and writing, and pouring my heart out, and talking to my friends and family that it would be easier to talk about, but it’s still so hard to find the words. When you’re so close to something so tragic and terrifying and opposite of what music and concerts are supposed to be, it kind of leaves you without any ground beneath your feet.”

In the hours after the attack, Lloyd’s of London, the bank that insured her tour, called her manager, Scooter Braun, and said they’d cover Ariana’s full pay for the rest of the schedule dates. Because she would have avoided the cost of putting on the shows, she actually stood to make more by canceling. But as Scooter later tells me, “It wasn’t about the money for her. It was about showing her fans and the world that she is who she says she is and being strong for them.”

They suspended the tour for seven dates, but Ariana wanted to go back on the road. Scooter suggested they play Manchester again, and they quickly organized what became One Love Manchester, a benefit concert that raised over $23 million for the victims and their families. On June 3, a day before the event was set to take place, a terrorist attack hit London: a van driver on London Bridge ran into a crowd and killed eight people. Ariana and other key artists on the bill — Chris Martin, Katy Perry, and Marcus Mumford — all stressed that they needed to play now more than ever.

At the end of the concert, after all the acts came together to sing Ariana’s “One Last Time,” she slowly walked to the front of the stage alone. She started singing “Over the Rainbow” from The Wizard of Oz, backed only by a piano. She crushed the bridge the first time, but then she went back, repeating it with such stunning conviction that it was impossible not to hear the song — one you’ve heard your whole life — in a completely new way. In the footage of this moment, every person is openly sobbing. Ariana finished the song through tears and you could hear her crying in the mic, the first time she broke her tough front all night. She somehow managed to sing the chorus one more time.

When I ask her why she chose to close the concert with that song, she starts to cry again. The song was her grandpa’s favorite, she says, and she would sing it to him at home when she was a little girl with an abnormally powerful voice. “He would always tell me to sing it in my concerts. He would always say, ‘You know what you should end with? “Over the Rainbow.”’ And I never did it until that moment. When I was getting ready to do it, I was thinking about him and I felt his presence so heavily around me. He was the person I was closest to in my life. He was everything I wanted to be: as a businessman, as a gentleman, as a human being, as a friend, everything. He was just perfect to me.”

“Here is my bleeding heart, and here is a trap beat behind it.”
In the days after the Manchester attack, when she was recuperating at her childhood home in Boca Raton, Florida, he was there too. “I found a stack of stationery next to my bed in a Ziploc baggie, and he had written on it, ‘For Ariana.’ I don’t remember seeing it before, and it was next to my bed.” She says she ended the show with that song because it was meant to be: “He tapped me on the shoulder and told me to.”

She says the tears came at that moment because it was when she was truly one with her audience. “The fact that all of those people were able to turn something that represented the most heinous of humanity into something beautiful and unifying and loving is just wild.”

The tour picked back up after One Love Manchester, and Ariana spent June, July, and August on a whirlwind journey across Europe, Latin America, and Asia. “We pushed through and we got home, and once things slowed down, everyone started to really feel it,” she says. “That’s when the process really began. We were riding this adrenaline wave and being strong with each other. Once we got home, we were like, ‘WHEW. Now the real work begins,’ and I’m sobbing.”

Way before any of this, Ariana knew it was time to elevate herself. In 2016, she met with Pharrell and told him: “Take me somewhere completely new — let’s just go.” The pair made “a million” songs together, and she says she enjoyed the freedom to create without a label’s imposed due date. Most importantly, though, as Ariana recalls, he sat her down, pointed at her heart, and told her it was time she show her fans what’s really going on in there. Over email, he explained his producer role with her as “part listener, part therapist, part stenographer.”

Ariana was sick of straightforward song structures and wanted lots of plot twists, which is one of Pharrell’s particular strengths. Take, for example, “The Light Is Coming,” a twitchy new wave track — a far cry from the easily digestible songs of her past. That kind of creative experimentation might make a major label skittish, but as Pharrell told me, the events in Manchester gave a hard reset to the project’s expectations. Half of the tracks that make up the album’s final tracklist are produced by him.

“In all honesty, I feel like [after Manchester] was when different people from the record company actually started to understand what we were trying to do,” Pharrell said. “It’s unfortunate that that situation is what gave it context, but they were able to really see it then. And that’s the truth.”

“The Light” was made with a guest feature in mind, and Ariana auditioned eight rappers for the spot — “I don’t mean to sound like a terrible person, but I wasn’t in love with any of it” — before turning to her friend Nicki Minaj. She texted Nicki the song and asked if she would be interested in the spot. In Ariana’s words, Nicki was like, “Ho-lee-shit-I-love-this,” and called her on up on a rainy morning at 5:00 a.m. to come hear the verse. “I went in my slippers and pajamas to the studio and she killed it,” she says. “That’s what Nicki Minaj does, she elevates a record. If you’re going to have a rapper on a song, they need to really really really be there for a reason, and she does that every single time.”

On “Borderline,” another Pharrell production, Missy Elliott makes a guest appearance, an experience that Ariana has been aiming for since she was crazy young, dancing in her room to Missy’s music, and studying her music videos directed by Dave Meyers, who ended up directing the clip for “No Tears Left To Cry.”

The other half of the album was produced by the most trusted and scientific hitmaker in pop, Max Martin. This is a lot of the work that Ariana produced after Manchester, and she says she got the songwriting bug this time around. It’s a bit of a cliché to say that an artist’s new album is their most personal album yet, but for Ariana it’s really true.

On “Get Well Soon,” she traces her way through the intimate corners of an anxiety attack. “Girl what’s wrong with you? / Come back down.” Eventually, she sings herself back to stability. She wrote the lyrics right after she experienced one, and her words are backed by piano, some bells, and a thousand refractions of her gorgeous voice. “The thing that makes me feel OK with opening up and finally allowing myself to be vulnerable is that I know [my fans] feel the same feelings,” she says. “I’ve talked to them about it. I have fans that have become friends of mine. I have their numbers, and we talk all the time. I played [the song] for them before I played it for my label. They were like, ‘Thank you,’ when they heard that one. It was so scary to do that, but to see them be like, ‘I get it, I feel that too’…”

These creative risks signal a more thoughtful phase in her career. “I’ve always just been like a shiny, singing, 5-6-7-8, sexy-dance…sexy thing. But now it’s like, ‘OK … issa bop — but issa message. Issa bop but also has chunks of my soul in it. Here you go. Also, I cried 10 hundred times in the session writing it for you. Here is my bleeding heart, and here is a trap beat behind it.’ There’s definitely some crying-on-the-dancefloor stuff on this one.” She balances gravitas with snackable joy on “No Tears,” the garage-inflected anthem that introduced people to this new sonic era. On “God Is A Woman,” a choir backs her over a beat you could probably get excommunicated for dancing the right way to.

A few weeks after our interview, Ariana posted to her Instagram story that she decided to add five tracks to her album, bringing the total tracklist up to 15 songs. We hopped on the phone to talk about the last-minute creative push, and Ariana seems even happier and more energized than before.

After recently reaching an “emotional rock bottom,” she revisited some of the songs she had decided to initially cut. The additions are three more from the Pharrell sessions, one from the Max camp, and one with her close past collaborator producer Tommy Brown. She first worried that these songs were “too emotionally honest” and might make her fans worried, but after some of the fears she was writing about came true, she gave them a second look. “There are parts of my life that they would love to know about,” she says, “and hard times that I have been dealing with for the past year-and-a-half that they deserve to know about because they love me endlessly and care. I don’t want to hide any pain from them because I can relate to their pain. Why not be in it together?”

She explains to me she that realized she had still been putting up emotional walls. “I guess I was kind of running on zero and pretending to be at a 10 for about 10 months,” she says. “It took me getting to, I deserve to be at a 10, and fuck it, and let’s fucking go, and now I feel so free and happy as fuck. Reaching that feeling made me look at the songs and be like What? What?! I wasn’t going to put this on the album? Oh my god, this is a bop! What was I fucking thinking? How did I get in my own head about blah-blah-blah that I would dare take this off the album.”

Recovery is a real process, and fortunately Ariana has taken some time for herself. Lately, she’s been heads-down on her album while enjoying living a serene life in L.A. with her seven dogs. She says she’s been watching an intense amount of Grey’s Anatomy, finishing five seasons — that’s over 100 hours — in just the past month. She swears that she’s a total Christina but also shares Izzie’s emotional side; if there’s a better show about a group of friends managing to process a seemingly endless trail of grief, I can’t think of one.

She says therapy has been helpful for her — she’s actually been in it her whole life and has always been a fan. “It has helped me deal with so much. I think it’s great for everybody. Especially in this regard. Therapy is the best. It really is.”

It’s also the first time she’s lived a home life in maybe forever, and she’s relished it. “I feel like all of a sudden I woke up and I’m an adult. It’s really crazy for me,” she says in disbelief. She likes to wake up at 6:30 in the morning and watch her house get enveloped by the early morning L.A. mist, a “yummy dream cloudland,” she says.

“I’ve never been this vulnerable to myself. I feel like I graduated almost.”
In the year before our interview, Ariana’s only real public appearances were for political causes. Last November, she appeared as the youngest act at A Concert for Charlottesville, a musical benefit in Virginia that was organized by Dave Matthews after Heather Heyer was murdered by a white supremacist when Neo-Nazis stormed the city. In March, she was one of the headliners at the March for Our Lives in Washington D.C., the demonstration of students against gun violence after the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. “We’re in such a trying time and people have been responding with acceptance, love, inclusion, and passion,” she says. “This generation, they’re standing up and they’re not going to take no for an answer.”

When the kids from Parkland came to Los Angeles, Scooter arranged for them to meet her before their protest took place. They sat around the floor of his living room in a circle and talked about theatre, their shared experiences, and she opened up about Manchester, specifically about what happens when time passes after a tragic event and things quiet down. They became fast friends and hugged and cried a lot.

“That sums up who she is,” Scooter told me. “That’s when you see the best of her: when the cameras aren’t on. Because a lot of people know how to turn it on for the cameras. She is who she is all of the time.”

A weird thing to think about is that Ariana Grande almost didn’t make it as a singer — she wasn’t always seen as an easily relatable person with superhuman talents. On Nickelodeon, she played the always-oblivious sidekick Cat Valentine in the performing arts school comedy Victorious, which was a star vehicle for Victoria Justice. Eventually, that role translated into a goofy spin-off called Sam & Cat, which had a successful first season but ended after 36 episodes. She recorded a few songs for the show’s bubblegum soundtracks and made guest appearances on a couple of Nick stars’ projects, but nothing really made a dent beyond her young TV audience. Sony had passed on her, and Nickelodeon didn’t think of her as more than a secondary character. So she pursued music on her own terms on YouTube, under her very early ’00s username “osnapitzari.”

In one clip she uploaded in 2007, when she was 14, she stands in front of a loop pedal machine and uses different recordings of her voice to create a multi-layered track with herself as every instrument as well as the lead vocalist. It’s super cute and psychotically impressive. A couple of years later, in 2012 — with peak “old pony” — she recorded a cover of Justin Bieber’s “Die In Your Arms.” That got the attention of Bieber’s manager, Scooter Braun, who signed her shortly after. Her 2013 debut, Yours Truly, a poppy R&B album mostly produced by Babyface, debuted at No. 1, and so did its 2014 follow up, My Everything, which made Ariana a fixture of the Billboard top 10.

Ariana’s four-octave range, which is stronger than pretty much any of the current pop singers in her lane, made her a star. She’s got an especially light head voice, which makes her high notes sound like glitter cannons shooting through rainbows, especially when her vocal tracks are layered on top of each other. In a now-iconic 2016 Twitter thread, it was determined that she does in fact “Have The Range.”

For an example of her skill, consider the slightly underperforming but beloved 2016 single “Into You.” It’s an intense love song that kicks off with a lyric that Lorde remarked on Twitter was maybe the closest thing to “pop perfection” she’s ever heard: “I’m so into you / I can barely breathe.” Near the song’s end, after the epic bridge, the chorus repeats a few times with a swirl of harmonies and ad-libs.

“Those moments to me are when a song comes together,” Ariana says. “When you get to the chorus, you do a couple of ad lib takes and you do all the harmonies in the world. My favorite things are vocal production, harmonies, and vocal arrangement. That’s when a song has its legs.”

For me, as a gay man — and I’m a little embarrassed to say this — those transcendent musical moments and the way I react to them let me know that being gay is not a choice and I was in fact born this way. Although queer fandom is a given for most pop stars, Ariana’s seems especially deserved. “I grew up singing in gay bars,” she says. “I grew up with a gay brother, who is my best friend. Boys taught me how to do my makeup. This is an authentic love.” The second verse of “No Tears Left To Cry,” she tells me, is about “the sweet cuties” in her tour meet-and-greets who have come out to her.

Here’s how she says their interactions go:

Fan: Hi mom.

Ariana: Hi babe.

Fan: I’m gay.

Ariana: Work! Really?

Fan: That was my first time saying that to anyone.

Ariana: WHAT!? NO FUCKING WAY, COME HERE!

It’s moments like this that have her excited to share this album and get back out on tour, despite everything she’s gone through over the past year. If the Ariana Doctrine is to go around the world spreading love and positivity in the face of hate, she’s making music that matches the ambitions of those grown-up goals. “I’ve never been this vulnerable to myself,” she says. “I feel like I graduated almost. I feel like for a long time the songs were great, but they weren’t songs that made me feel something the way these songs do.”

Towards the end of our time together, she tells me the story of a day that summed up what her life has been like lately. It takes place on a foggy, rainy day — her favorite kind. “I was driving home from work and I just felt an overwhelming peace wash over me,” she remembers. “I just started tearing up — tears of gratitude because of perspective, because of growth, opening up and finding the ground again because of music, friends, and love. I was just overwhelmed by how simple it can be if you let it.”

Source: TheFader.com

Ariana Grande performs at the 2018 Billboard Music Awards

On May 20th, Ariana Grande performed at the 2018 Billboard Music Awards, where she sang No Tears Left To Cry!  After her performance, titles saying “The Light Is Coming” appear on screen, hinting at the song to be released! Check out photos and videos below!

Performance

Backstage/Audience

Ariana Grande is one of TIME’s 2018 Next Generation Leaders

On May 17th, the list of TIME’s 2018 Next Generation Leaders have been announced, and it features Ariana Grande herself! Check out the full photoshoot and interview below!


Ariana Grande is happy, and it’s important to her that people know that. Still, it would be hard to miss her happiness on this sunny spring day at a ramshackle house in Beverly Hills. It beams out of her as she sprawls on the lawn, murmuring in baby talk to Toulouse, her rescue beagle-chihuahua, and it suffuses the way she vogues out of the house into the yard, spinning and twirling in a frilly gray tulle dress.

She has a lot of reasons to be happy. At 24, Grande is one of the biggest pop stars in the world, and she’s coming out with new music two years after her last album, the blockbuster Dangerous Woman. Her latest single is called “No Tears Left to Cry.” Going off the title, you’d expect a big torch ballad—she’s run out of tears! Instead, it’s a triumphant, ’90s-house-inflected pop confection, part breathy vocals and part spunky, spoken-word playfulness. She chose it carefully: “The intro is slow, and then it picks up,” she says. “And it’s about picking things up.”

Grande made a song about resilience because she has had to be resilient, in ways that are difficult to imagine, after a terrorist detonated a bomb outside her May 22, 2017, concert in Manchester, England, killing 22 people and leaving more than 500 injured. What happened is part of the song, but the song is not about what happened. Instead of being elegiac, it’s joyful and lush, and Grande is proud of it, and of herself. “When I started to take care of myself more, then came balance, and freedom, and joy,” she says. “It poured out into the music.” In the video for the song, she’s upside-down, the way life used to feel. “We’ve messed with the idea of not being able to find the ground again,” she says, “because I feel like I’m finally landing back on my feet now.”

Grande is petite, with Kewpie-doll eyes and a wide, easy smile. She often wears her hair in a big ponytail, but today it is pulled back into an elaborate topknot, with little wisps of hair coming down behind her ears like a halo. When she talks, she is earnest and enthusiastic—you can hear her theater-kid roots.

Grande grew up in South Florida; her mom was the CEO of a communications company and her father a successful graphic designer. As a child, she always wanted to perform. “I loved wearing Halloween masks in June and doing stand-up in my kitchen for my grandparents,” she says. She was precocious and driven. “My friend from preschool found a notebook that we must have written when we were 5 or 6 years old that was like, ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’” she says. “Mine said, ‘I want to be on Nickelodeon and then I want to sing.’”

She performed in local theater, then on Broadway in the musical 13. When she was 16, she was cast on the Nickelodeon show Victorious, which made her a star, though mostly with younger viewers, and she dabbled in bubblegum pop. She signed with Republic Records after the label’s chairman saw videos of her covering Whitney Houston and Adele on YouTube.

Her first official single, “The Way,” was released in 2013. It didn’t sound like the music she had recorded for Nickelodeon; it was breezy, catchy throwback soul, and it showed off her towering voice, which at times sounds almost instrumental. (Even die-hard fans have pointed out that, depending on how Grande sings, it can be hard to make out her lyrics—a critique she clearly takes in stride. At one point during our interview, after finishing a winding thought, she turned to me and asked, “Did I enunciate?” and then flashed a mischievous smile.)

Her first album, Yours Truly, debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and sold more than 500,000 copies worldwide, and her follow-ups, My Everything and Dangerous Woman, did even better. She released a string of chart-topping collaborations, including “Problem” (featuring Iggy Azalea), “Love Me Harder” (featuring the Weeknd) and “Side to Side” (featuring Nicki Minaj). She toured the world. Got labeled a diva, as happens to pretty much all women in music. Became the third most followed person on Instagram. It was a lot to handle, even though she had wanted success. “There was an adjustment period, because my life changed drastically,” she says. She has settled into it by now. “If I want to go out, then I’m going to go out as Ariana Grande and be O.K. with it,” she says. “If I’m feeling less O.K., I’ll probably stay in bed and watch Grey’s Anatomy.”

Everything was different, Grande says, when she was making her new album. First off, she took the lead on writing songs, which she had never really done before. “I was just so excited about singing,” she says of her previous efforts. “So I co-wrote, but I was never as involved.” She was also vocal with her producers—namely Max Martin, Savan Kotecha and Pharrell Williams, three of the most reliable hitmakers in music—about experimenting with her sound. “There was nothing I wouldn’t try,” she says. She told Williams she wanted to “make the weirdest thing we can first.” There are several moments on the record—both on the lead single and on an anthemic, sultry banger called “God Is a Woman”—in which Grande’s voice is layered so that it sounds like a choir, but really, it’s only her, multiplied. On another song, “Get Well Soon,” her vocals are interwoven in dense layers of sound, creating an otherworldly effect. “It’s like I’m talking to all of my thoughts in my head,” she says, “and they’re singing back to me.”

Grande credits this newfound creative freedom to the work she has done to heal herself. “I felt more inclined to tap into my feelings because I was spending more time with them,” she says. “I was talking about them more. I was in therapy more.” Although she had struggled with anxiety in the past, she says, “I never opened up about it, because I thought that was how life was supposed to feel.” What, specifically, was making her anxious? She shakes her head. It’s hard to talk about.

Here’s what Scooter Braun, Grande’s manager, tells me about what happened last summer, after the terrorist attack in Manchester. Grande had flown home to stay at her grand-mother’s house in Boca Raton, Fla., and Braun met her there, where he asked her to do something that, he says, he knew at the time was unfair. “I said, ‘We need to get a concert and get back out there.’ She looked at me like I was insane. She said, ‘I can never sing these songs again. I can’t put on these outfits. Don’t put me in this position.’” They decided to cancel the rest of the tour.

Two days later, Braun was on a flight, and he landed to find 16 text messages from Grande saying, “Call me. I need to speak to you.” When they finally spoke, she said, “If I don’t do something, these people died in vain.” They decided to put on a concert in Manchester to benefit the families that were affected.

The minute they arrived, just days after the bombing, they set out to help. They went to the hospital and sat with survivors. They met with families of the deceased. As the concert loomed, they began to worry that people would be too afraid to show up.

But more than 50,000 people turned out. A dozen other artists—including Justin Bieber, Coldplay and Katy Perry—flew in to perform. Grande closed the night with a performance of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” with tears streaming down her face. The show, called One Love Manchester, was broadcast live on British TV and streamed all over the world, alongside information about how to donate; it helped raise over $12 million for victims of the bombing and their families. The city of Manchester named Grande an honorary citizen, citing her “great many selfless acts and demonstrations of community spirit.”

“We put a lot on her shoulders,” Braun says. “And she took over. You know, for the rest of her life, she can say that she is exactly who she claims to be.”

So that’s what happened. After the Manchester show, Grande finished the tour. And then she went dark for a while.

Grande had built a career on the fizzy, ebullient joy of music as escape: the spine-tingling voice, the thrilling live shows, the polished music videos. Now, even though she had nothing to do with the attack, she had become central to the narrative in a way that made it inexorable. And yet what had she really lost, compared with so many others? People had lost children, parents, partners, friends. To make art that was explicitly about it would look exploitative. But to ignore it would be disingenuous.

She knows I am going to ask her about this before I have even said the words. She can see it in my eyes, and I can see it in hers, and she begins to cry—not graceful tears, but deep, choking sobs. “I’m sorry,” she says. “I’ll do my best.”

Slowly, she starts to elaborate: “There are so many people who have suffered such loss and pain.” Her own grief feels both enormous and insignificant. “The processing part is going to take forever,” she says, and sobs again. She doesn’t want to talk about the attack. “I don’t want to give it that much power,” she says. “Something so negative. It’s the absolute worst of humanity. That’s why I did my best to react the way I did. The last thing I would ever want is for my fans to see something like that happen and think it won.”

“Music is supposed to be the safest thing in the world,” she continues. “I think that’s why it’s still so heavy on my heart every single day.” She takes a deep breath. “I wish there was more that I could fix. You think with time it’ll become easier to talk about. Or you’ll make peace with it. But every day I wait for that peace to come and it’s still very painful.” There is no tidy resolution. There is no why. It just happened. Grande looks up at the sky. “I’m sorry,” she says again. “What was the question?”

The bee has been a symbol of Manchester for years; it’s a nod to the city’s hardworking citizens, the worker bees who built up the region during the Industrial Revolution. After the attack, thousands of people in Manchester got bee tattoos. So did Grande and members of her crew. Now she sees bees everywhere. There’s one at the very end of the video for “No Tears Left to Cry,” in the final frame, buzzing away.

It’s part of how she carries what happened in Manchester with her. She performed at the Charlottesville, Va., unity concert as well as the March For Our Lives rally in Washington, D.C., and she met with some of the survivors of the Parkland, Fla., shooting. “They’re so young but so brilliant and so strong,” she says. “We had a lot to talk about with what we’ve both been through.”

Her new album, Grande says, is called Sweetener. She decided to call it that because that’s the message she wanted to give to her fans: that you can take a bad situation and make it better. “When you’re handed a challenge,” she says, “instead of sitting there and complaining about it, why not try to make something beautiful?”

That sentiment hits home for Grande as well. “I’m happy,” she says, and tears spill out of her eyes again. She wipes them away. “I’m crying,” she says, “but I’m happy.”

Source: TIME.com

Ariana Grande performs at YouTube’s Brandcast event

On May 3rd, Ariana Grande surprised the audience at YouTube’s Brandcast event at the Radio City Music Hall in New York City, and gave a performance of No Tears Left To Cry, along with Side To Side and Dangerous Woman!

Check out the photos and videos below!



Ariana Grande announces album title “Sweetener” on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

On May 1st, Ariana Grande took over the whole night of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon as they had sketches, interviews, surprises, and even the first ever televised performance of No Tears Left To Cry! She’s also announced that she will be performing the song at the 2018 Billboard Music Awards!

Ariana says that she will be dropping content on the 20th of each month leading up to the album release. She has also announced her 4th sudio album title called Sweetener, and revealed some songs off of the tracklist!

  • God Is A Woman
  • R.E.M.
  • The Light Is Coming
  • Raindrops

Check out the photos and videos below!

Performance

Show





WATCH: Ariana Grande – No Tears Left To Cry (Behind The Scenes: Part 1)

On April 23, Ariana Grande uploaded part 1 of the behind the scenes footage of her music video to No Tears Left To Cry which was directed by Dave Meyers.

We get to see in depth of how the music videos was filmed and the concept behind it all. The behind-the-scenes footage will be released in two parts — the first of which was directed by Alfredo Flores.

Meyers gave his take on what the video wanted to accomplish:

“The concept we wanted to explore was the disorientation that you go through in life and the quest we all go through to kind of find the ground again. We sort of flirt with the ambiguity of whether you need to find the ground or whether the ground’s just what you make of it.”

In the behind-the-scenes clip, fans learn just how Grande walked on the ceiling and walls in the intro for “No Tears Left to Cry” — it was accomplished with the crew building a revolving hallway. Meyers cited Fred Astaire as a reference for the dancing-on-the-ceiling bit.

Grande also hangs and spins from a free-floating staircase within a city from the future. The BTS clip reveals that the city was added in post-production and the singer was connected to a harness in front of a green screen. During the second take for this scene, one of Grande’s heels falls off — but the crew quickly retrieved it and the show goes on.

Check out photos and the video below!

Source: Billboard.com

Ariana Grande performs at Coachella 2018

Ariana Grande made a surprise appearance at Coachella 2018 to deliver the live debut of No Tears Left to Cry Friday night during Kygo’s set on the main stage.

After single and video’s premiere, Grande hopped in a helicopter to Indio, California to perform her new single live during the second weekend. She also sang Marvin Gaye’s Sexual Healing during the set.

Check out the photos and videos below!

Backstage

Performance


With fans

PREMIERE: Ariana Grande – No Tears Left To Cry

The Princess of Pop is back with a whole new era!

It’s finally here! Ariana Grande has officially kicked off the era by releasing the first single off of her upcoming 4th album, No Tears Left To Cry! After a whole week of teasing on all social medias with her team and friends, the song is out!

Along with that, she also released the music video, directed by Dave Meyers!

ITUNES | APPLE MUSIC | SPOTIFY


Behind The Scenes

Ariana Grande performs Be Alright at March For Our Lives

On March 24th, Ariana Grande performed Be Alright at the March For Our Lives rally, in support of ending gun violence, in Washington, D.C. This is her first performance since 6 months from the benefit concert for Charlottesville.

“This is for those brilliant students here today that are leading this march and for everybody participating today. Thank you so much for fighting for change and for love and safety and for our future.” Ariana told the crowd before ending her set.

She also ran for a group hug onstage with the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students after her performance.

Check out the HQ photos and videos of the performance below!

PHOTOS: Ariana Grande spotted in Los Angeles (02/23)

On February 23rd, Ariana Grande has been seen for the first time since illness forced her to pull out of this week’s Brit Awards.

Looking far from her usual bubbly self, the 24-year-old carried her black boots as she left boyfriend Mac Miller’s house on Friday morning.

 

The sighting came as a source close to the singer revealed to DailyMail.com her ‘devastation’ at pulling out of the tribute to the Manchester bombing victims.

It was Ariana’s own idea to perform at the show, the source told DailyMail.com.

‘She had a fever, a very specific type of fever,’ the source said. ‘She was devastated, honestly she spent a day crying, because she wanted to go but the doctor would not let her. She was genuinely distraught.

‘It was all her idea, they didn’t ask Ariana to go. It was her idea, she approached them. She said she felt like the Brits was the first major show and she needed to do something and she was devastated she wasn’t able to be there.’  The surprise performance was planned as a tribute to the 22 killed at her concert in May last year.

A suicide bomber detonated an explosive device as fans left the Manchester Arena.

Two weeks later, Grande returned to the city after organizing the One Love Manchester benefit concert, which reached a global audience of millions.

She had hoped to do something similar at the Brit Awards, before illness struck.

After Ariana pulled out, Liam Gallagher took to the stage in her place.

Recovering from her illness back home in Los Angeles, a dressed down Ariana looked low key on her Friday outing.

Bare-legged, despite the cold Los Angeles day, she wore a baggy sweatshirt, and carried a laptop at her front.

The American pop star wore her bleached blonde hair in a casual top knot, and appeared to be make-up free.

Source: DailyMail.co.uk

Ariana Grande talks with Women’s Health at Reebok event

On September 20th, Ariana Grande attended a press event for her partnership with Reebok. She talked to Women’s Health about her collaboration and much more.


As an international pop sensation touring the globe for most of this year, Ariana Grande has built a home-away-from-home on the road with her band, her dancers, her friends, and her fans. But now that her Dangerous Woman Tour has come to a close, the newly-minted Reebok ambassador is preparing to take some time for herself.

We caught up with the superstar in Hong Kong at an event celebrating her new partnership with the athletic brand, just one day before the final show of the tour. Editors were immersed in a “day in the life” of the “Into You” singer, starting bright and early with a workout with her trainer Harley Pasternak, followed by a styling session with her go-to guru Law Roach and a choreography lesson with her dancers and creative directors Brian and Scott Nicholson.

With countless packed days like this one over the past seven months, you’d think Ariana might be kind of over life on the road. But during a Q&A session, she seemed most at home talking about the “really beautiful family” that’s formed among her touring crew. “All we need is each other, and we have all the stress release, all the fun that we need,” she said. “It’s so much fun. I love them so much. I don’t want to go home.”

After a life-changing year on the road, marked by a terrorist attack at her Manchester, England, concert in May, Ariana plans to shift her focus now that her show has officially wrapped. “I think what I’m probably going to do is check in on my health,” she says. “I’m going to see my doctors and get a checkup and do some things that I’ve been pushing off for a while.” She’s also looking forward to quality downtime with her family. “It’s been a while since I’ve been home, since February. It’s been a lot emotionally. It’s been a very challenging journey for all of us involved. So it would be nice to really hold my loved ones close for a little while, stay home for a little bit.”

Even though she won’t be connecting with crowds of fans nightly for the time being, Ariana, who has 114 million dedicated Instagram followers, will still be spreading her message of female empowerment through her new Reebok campaign. “We have a very similar goal, which is to inspire people to be themselves unapologetically and embrace who they are [and] see all the different kinds of beauty that there is,” she says. “I don’t usually do things like this, but I really—we have a lot in common. We believe all the same things, and the idea of bringing that message to my fans on a broader scale is really exciting to me.”

Ariana’s “Arianators” are always at the forefront of her mind, she says. “I love what I do. I think one of my favorite things about it is being able to have an impact on my fans’ lives, and to be there for them, and to know that what I’m creating is helping them in some way,” she says. “Even if it’s just making them feel empowered when they’re getting ready in the morning, or helping them through a heartbreak, or to find something they love about themselves. Just making them dance in the car on the way to school in the morning. I just like being able to have a connection with them, and I care a lot about that. So it’s a really beautiful thing. I think about them with everything I create.”

Fans can expect that commitment to continue even during her time off. “Knowing me, I’m going to be in the studio, probably, at the same time, because I love it, and I want to create,” she says, adding that she plans to take her time perfecting the new music she started working on more than a year ago. “I’ll be rested and ready to go again as soon as possible, because I just love this so much.”

Source: WomensHealthMag.com

The Dangerous Woman Tour – Taipei City, TW (09/19)

On September 19th, Ariana Grande continues The Dangerous Woman Tour as she performed in Taipei, Taiwan at the Taipei Arena.

Check out the photos + videos below!

SHOW

Be Alright
Everyday
Bad Decisions
Let Me Love You
Intro
Knew Better
Forever Boy
One Last Time
Touch It
Leave Me Lonely
Side To Side
Bang Bang
Greedy
Focus
I Don’t Care
Moonlight
Love Me Harder
Break Free
Sometimes
Thinking Bout You
Somewhere Over The Rainbow
Problem
Into You
Dangerous Woman

Meet & Greet